In This Issue

Producer-Operated OCS Pipelines That Cross Directly Into State Waters

This final rule addresses the safety regulation responsibility for producer-operated natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines that cross into State waters without first connecting to a transporting operator’s facility on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This rule specifies the procedures by which producer operators can petition for approval to operate under safety regulations governing pipeline design, construction, operation, and maintenance issued by either the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA) or the Department of the Interior (DOI), Minerals Management Service (MMS). This rule is effective September 4, 2003.

Producer-operated pipeline facilities upstream (generally seaward) of the last valve on the last production facility on the OCS are regulated under MMS regulations. However, regardless of the direction of flow, producer pipelines that cross the Federal/State boundary are always subject to RSPA regulation on the portions of the lines located in State waters. However, it does not make operational sense to have a pipeline segment crossing the Federal/State boundary subject to MMS regulations on the OCS side of the boundary and RSPA regulations on the State side of the boundary. Therefore, producer pipeline operators may petition RSPA/OPS under 49 CFR 190.0 for approval to operate under RSPA/OPS regulations governing pipeline design, construction, operation, and maintenance. In considering such petitions, RSPA/OPS will consult with MMS and affected parties.

Safety equipment protecting RSPA regulated pipeline segments are not excluded from RSPA / OPS regulation. RSPA/OPS will continue to inspect all upstream safety equipment (including valves, overpressure protective devices, cathodic protection equipment, and pigging devices) that protect the integrity of the RSPA/OPS-regulated pipeline segments.

You may contact L.E. Herrick by telephone at (202) 366-5523, by fax at (202) 366 4566, by mail at U.S. Department of Transportation, RSPA, DPS-10, Room 7128, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590, or via e-mail to regarding the subject matter of this notice.

The complete Federal Register notice is available at RCP’s website here through the DOT Gateway.